New Hampshire holds off UMBC's late challenge, 78-69

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) Jaleen Smith hit a key jump shot with just over a minute left, then made 5 of 6 free throws as New Hampshire held to off a stubborn Maryland-Baltimore County 78-69 on Saturday.

The Wildcats saw a 19-point second-half lead cut to three before Smith's jumper gave some breathing room. With UMBC forced to foul, New Hampshire finished 9 of 10 from the line in the last 58 seconds.

Smith led with 23 points, Daniel Dion added 20 and Ronnel Jordan 12 for New Hampshire (18-11, 10-5 America East). The Wildcats have secured a home game, and can finish either No. 3 or 4 in the AEC standings.

Jairus Lyles scored 27 points - including a jumper that pulled UMBC to within 67-64 with just over a minute remaining - and set the school's sophomore-season scoring record with 460 points. The Retrievers (7-24, 3-13), as eighth seed, travel to top-seeded Stony Brook on March 2.

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